The Supreme Court of Justice of Panama, in a joint order, has directed that its former president, Ricardo Martinelli, be detained in the United States, and held without bond, pending his extradition to Panama. Martinelli has a dozen cases pending against him in Panama City, the most prominent being his illegal electronic surveillance program, which spied upon 150 of Panama's most powerful leaders, wealthy businessmen, and their wives, which most Panamanians found extremely distasteful, and regard as an espionage operation, directed against the people of the Republic of Panama
Martinelli, who has been living openly in Miami of late, reportedly expressed anger at the Supreme Court action; his attorneys have been attempting to interpose every technical legal roadblock possible, in a futile effort to delay the cases, including Martinelli's bogus appointment to the Central American Parliament, and denying that he has received proper notice of the proceedings.
Will Panamanian pressure to extradite a corrupt leader trump Martinelli's alleged deal with the United States ? Most observers have assumed that the rumors about his reputed status, as a Cooperating Individual for a US law enforcement agency, are true. Whether Martinelli ever faces justice in his native Panama is an open question.